Daily Archives: April 3, 2017

Taconic Biosciences Launches ExpressMODEL™, a New Accelerated Model Generation Service

HUDSON, N.Y., April 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Taconic Biosciences, a global leader in genetically engineered mouse models and associated services, has launched ExpressMODEL™, an innovative and streamlined model generation service that reduces the timeline to first generation and experimental cohort by up to four months.

This novel model generation method significantly reduces the time required to create an experimental rodent cohort, enabling critical drug discovery testing to happen much faster, saving both time and money.

ExpressMODEL™ leverages Taconic’s extensive in vitro fertilization (IVF) expertise, optimizing procedures by using chimaeras to rapidly expand founder mice. This increases the number of mice carrying targeted alleles in the first generation from 3-4 to at least 20-30.  By providing a sizeable colony of first generation heterozygous animals, ExpressMODEL™ allows researchers to skip at least one round of colony expansion, saving 3-4 months on the overall project timeline. Elimination of natural breeding in the germline transmission step results in predictable timelines and better experiment planning.

Unlike other methods employed to reduce timelines, ExpressMODEL™ does not rush critical genome modification procedures. The new Taconic approach preserves the use of stringent controls during the genome modification process, thereby minimizing the risk of generating a mouse model carrying the wrong transgenic allele or additional unwanted mutations.

“In drug discovery it is rare to find an innovation that saves time while increasing quality, as typically one is pursued at the expense of the other.  ExpressMODEL™ represents a tremendous value for our customers because it can save up to four months of time, while creating more predictable timelines and consistent high quality,” shared John Couse, PhD, Portfolio Director for Taconic Scientific Services.

“Our model generation work is not done when we have a founder or breeding pair. With ExpressMODEL™, we provide our clients with research-ready cohorts so they can start their work immediately,” said Couse.

Taconic is a fully-licensed provider of rodent model generation services and has twenty years of model design experience, providing gene inactivation, gene mutation or replacement, transgene expression, RNAi, and gene editing via CRISPR/Cas9 technologies to ensure that the right tools are leveraged for each specific customer project.  Complimenting this expertise is Taconic’s unique capability of providing a seamless transition from model design to breeding and colony management, thus offering customers a complete solution.   These scientific services include acquiring or generating, importing, licensing, breeding, testing, preparing, and distributing genetically engineered models to any location worldwide.

To learn more about Taconic’s custom model generation, please call 1-888-TACONIC (888-822-6642) in the US, or +45 70 23 04 05 in Europe, or email [email protected].

About Taconic Biosciences, Inc.
Taconic Biosciences is a fully-licensed, global leader in genetically engineered rodent models and services. Founded in 1952, Taconic helps biotechnology companies and institutions acquire, custom generate, breed, precondition, test, and distribute valuable research models worldwide.  Specialists in genetically engineered mouse and rat models, precision research mouse models, and integrated model design and breeding services, Taconic operates three service laboratories and six breeding facilities in the U.S. and Europe, maintains distributor relationships in Asia and has global shipping capabilities to provide animal models almost anywhere in the world.

Media Contact:
Kelly Owen Grover
Director of Marketing Communications
(518) 697-3824
[email protected]

Ethnic Political Party Sweeps By-elections in Myanmar’s Restive Shan State

An ethnic Shan political party won all six seats in state parliament by-elections in Kyethi township in Myanmar’s eastern Shan state on Sunday, giving it a landslide victory over candidates from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) contested seats in seven constituencies in the by-elections, but lost one in Kengtung township, said SNLD vice secretary Sain Kyaw Nyunt.

The NLD won only one state parliament seat in the Naungshwe constituency, and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) picked up the remaining seat in the Kengtung township constituency.

Another ethnic Shan party�the Shan Nationalities Development Party (SNDP)�did not win any seats in the state by-election.

On offer in the by-elections�the first held since the civilian NLD came to power a year ago�were seats in eight states and regions around the country left vacant by incumbents whom the government picked for ministerial posts.

Though the NLD, led by de facto national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, won only nine of the 19 seats in national and regional parliaments, the results of the by-elections will not affect the NLD’s significant majority in the national parliament

They do, however, serve as a bellwether by which to measure growing dissatisfaction among ethnic minority groups with the current government administration and its failure to make significant headway in ending ethnic strife and propelling economic development.

Sain Kyaw Nyunt said that the SNLD, a federal party with local branches in most townships in Shan State and a few in Kayah and Kachin states and the Mandalay region, was satisfied with its victories in the by-elections in Shan state.

People voted well, he said of the by-elections, where races were held after being cancelled in 2015 because of clashes between armed rebels and the government army. Some came from 18 miles away to vote, and the SNLD thanks those people for this.

Shan people usually care about business and social events, but we now see they care about politics as well, he said. Although we didn’t win all the seats, we are satisfied because we were able to wake up their political minds.

Several ethnic militias have staked out various swathes of Shan state�one of the most restive and unstable areas of Myanmar�and periodically defend them against other ethnic armies and the Myanmar military.

But Sain Kyaw Nyunt said the SNLD didn’t have any difficulties holding the by-elections because the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) had issued a statement saying that the SNLD could campaign in SSPP-controlled areas.

Good relationships

The SNLD has good relationships with ethnic armed groups that have signed a nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA) with the Myanmar government as well as those that have not, Sain Kyaw Nyunt said.

Some militias engaged in hostilities with the government army in several areas, including Shan state, have refused to participate in the peace process.

It is good to have our members of parliament in conflict areas so that they can participate in any peace process and regional development as representatives of the SNLD, he said.

Aung San Suu Kyi is spearheading efforts to end decades of ethnic separatist civil wars in the country and forge national reconciliation and peace through periodic talks known as the 21st-Century Panglong Conference.

Most armed ethnic groups are seeking autonomy under a federal system in the talks, but some have opted out or been excluded from participating by the government because of ongoing hostilities.

Although we now have a one-year-old democratic government, we still don’t have as much as we had expected, but we have to wait, Sin Kyaw Myunt said.

Previous governments operated under a military dictatorship, and the current government is trying to reform everything that was put in place by the military dictatorship, he said.

We know it is not easy, he said. We understand the current government and we want to urge it to make more of an effort.

The SNLD wants the NLD to invite the political groups and ethnic militias as allies and discuss with them how to rebuild the country together, he said.

Win Htein, a top NLD leader, told that the party faced language barriers and problems with armed groups in the Shan state districts being contested where residents don’t understand Burmese.

Kayah state candidates removed

In a related development, the NLD removed Khin Sithu, chief of eastern Myanmar’s Kayah State, and Pei Du, NLD chairman in Hpruso township, from their posts because they failed to register as candidates in Hpruso constituency before the deadline.

I was removed from the NLD post because they [NLD leaders] think that it is my responsibility for failing to submit the name of a candidate, said Khin Sithu, who is also a lawmaker representing Loikaw township.

I didn’t violate any rule in the party, he said. Now I am no longer party chief, but I am still a member of parliament.

More than two million voters of the country’s more than 54 million population, were eligible to vote in the by-elections.

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